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Intro and Hybridizing Question.

Good rainbow flower morning!
	Greetings! I'm Jim Schroetter, and my wife Gina and I live in 
Spotsylvania county, Virginia. We have joined the Fredericksburg Area Iris 
Society (FAIS) and been involved for only a couple of years now - although I 
have loved the iris since boyhood.  I am a computer specialist for the USMC, 
Gina is a Veterinarian, and we both have a Hearthstone log and timberframe 
home business. Which reminds me, I hope our Hearthstone iris (from Cooley's) 
blooms this year!!  Our interests were mostly the bearded iris, but we have 
put in a few japanese iris in one bed and some (species?) iris, yellow flag, 
in a small frog pond (first one ever bloomed yestrday!)  We are trying our 
luck with rebloomers, and have about 4 doz planted.
	Our FAIS had a great show this past weekend, with (my guesstimate) 
about 200 entries. (We won a few ribbons, which is really encouraging to  
newcomers!) In our beds there are about 160 varieties which have just gotten 
started blooming during the past week or so.  We expect this weekend to have 
peak bloomage. 
	I found out this past weekend, while helping out at the show, some 
very interesting things about hybridizing.  For example, I was shown two very 
similar yet different iris (one was Titans Glory) which, I was told, have the 
same parents.  Up until then, I was afraid that you had to do extensive 
research to see if the cross you are thinking of doing has ever been done 
before, or you would end up making all that effort only to find that it has 
"already been done."  In fact, I found that you are to plant all of the seeds 
from a pod and you will likely get a variety of iris as a relult.  Then you 
select the best of the litter - if there is one.
	The more I hear about hybridizing, the more I believe it can be as 
easy or as complex as you want to make it.  For now I would like to learn  
from my experiments and, especially from the irisarians on this list who 
hybridize and know some of the pitfalls. For example, I learned an important 
lesson by trial and error last year during my first effort. Unknowingly,  I 
cut the swollen pods off long before any seeds developed and found that I 
would have to wait until this year to try hybridizing again. Those carefully 
labled pods drying in the garage were worthless! (Last night, I introduced 
some Batik pollen into two different rebloomers, so now if I just don't jump 
the gun again, just maybe .... )
	Wouldn't this be a good time of year to have some discussion, 
pointers, etc. on hybridizing??  I look forward to being a member of this 
listserver and am glad to have found you!

Jim Schroetter   
Fredericksburg, VA 
"You miss 100% of the shots you 
 never take."  Wayne Gretzky

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